GUIDELINES TO GAINING ACCREDITATION
The African Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS) promotes the development and enhancement of education and training of quantity surveyors throughout the continent. A primary aspect of this process is to provide a structure which any tertiary education programme in the discipline can utilize to benchmark their qualifications against those successfully presented internationally. This is achieved by adoption of a set of structured accreditation policies, which have been based on those of highly regarded international organizations.
Educational institutions that wish to participate in the process should firstly contact the Chair of the AAQS Education and Training Board, details of which are to be found on the AAQS website, to indicate their interest. At this stage, full contact details should be provided of a representative from the educational institution that will be responsible for liaising with the AAQS in this matter.
Following receipt of the expression of interest, the institution will be provided with a full set of documentation detailing the process to be followed, and a council member of the AAQS in the particular region where the institution is based will be mandated with the task of co-ordinating the preparatory stages of the process, culminating in the submission by the institution of a formal self-evaluation document. The AAQS Education and Training Board will then assess the readiness of the institution for the final stage of the process, an in-situ inspection of the programme in the location where it is presented.
A system of accreditation needs to take into account national policies and regulatory frameworks, the institutional quality landscape, and international trends with respect to quality and standards in higher education. In addition, within our particular discipline, cognizance has to be taken of general policy adopted by the AAQS.
The basic principle upon which the AAQS accreditation policy is founded is that educational service providers elect to have their programmes evaluated for accreditation purposes at either of two academic qualification levels (currently termed Honours Degree, and Bachelors Degree). These qualifications levels are defined by fundamental and core knowledge areas / unit standards as reflected in the body of knowledge documentation previously referred to. At both academic qualification levels, the AAQS criteria for programme accreditation would be applied, including outcomes of the programme evaluation in line with published AAQS documentation.
A fundamental precept underpinning the proposed implementation of this accreditation policy document is that it should not be seen as a mechanism to entrench or establish a hierarchy of tertiary education providers at the expense of others. The criteria and outcomes of programme evaluation as described in this document are intended to provide a framework for the promotion of the principles underpinning academic development within all providers of quantity surveying tertiary education. Where programmes are not initially accredited, procedures are included in the policy documentation to permit such programmes to clearly identify and address perceived shortcomings in order to be re-evaluated for possible future accreditation.
A copy of the current AAQS Accreditation Policy may be found on the AAQS website.